Employer led CO2 and Energy Reductions by Employees (Off4Firms)

Challenge Platform: Making Transitions Happen

Project Start Date: 04/2012

Lead partner: ETH Zürich, NL

Project type: Innovation project – Develops and brings to market climate-relevant knowledge, products and services

Project lead: Prof Dr Renate Schubert, ETH Zürich


This project involves 4 partners in 2 European countries:


As private households have the potential to deliver significant reductions in carbon emissions and energy consumption, the Off4Firms project aims to target householders through their employers. Companies will be equipped with solutions to encourage their employees to make environmentally conscious decisions and adapt their current habits. This will promote a cleaner, greener lifestyle at home and at work.

The climate change issue

Collectively, households account for the largest proportion of global energy consumption (30%) and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions (40%). In order to meet the 2030 climate target defined by the EU Commission, emission levels must decrease by 37-53%. This must be reduced by a further 88-91% by 2050. Hence, changing our behaviours in private households will make an important contribution towards meeting these targets.

The Project Solution

The aim of the Off4Firms project is to decrease household energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by offering incentives for environmentally friendly transport, energy efficient household appliances or facilitation for behavioural change to employees. This scheme, subsidised and initiated by business, is a popular and effective method to encourage a reduction in CO2 emissions.

The project benefits both companies and employees. For example, employees will profit from lower energy costs as well as a more positive and ecological lifestyle. Companies, meanwhile, benefit from increased employee performance and an enhanced reputation towards their stakeholders, their employees and the public, due to proactive efforts to address climate change.

The Off4Firms project will develop a service, allowing companies to start their employee based carbon emission reduction schemes. The service will offer company- tailored sets of CO2 and energy reduction measures, including monitoring and support for reporting the achieved results.

The Off4Firms project will also provide guidelines on how future incentive schemes should be designed and implemented successfully.

The role of Climate-KIC

Climate-KIC assisted in the early stages of the project, providing financial advice when writing the original proposal. Later Climate-KIC provided expert knowledge for future development of the project. Partners of Climate-KIC are now being contacted in order to test and re-evaluate the service and to find potential customers. Climate-KIC offers a useful network of specialist contacts within the industry.